Costus amazonicus

This Ginger is native to Peru and Ecuador, and is a wonderful plant for larger terraria. It makes an excellent perch and sleeping place for frogs and geckos, and Ranitomeya in particular seem to love the newly forming conical leaves. It doesn’t like to be moved, and even when I repot it here, the leaves always die back. New leaves grow from the base within a month or two, and come back with vigor.

It loves clay substrate, but also will do well in sphagnum (and probably potting soil although I’ve never tried it). Because it is a larger plant, it does better in thicker substrate layers, ideally at least 3″. I cut my plants back at 2′, as that’s as tall as the terrarium they are growing in, but it would get taller if given room. The only information I can find online about size is in regards to the variegated form, which gets around 36-42″. My guess is this one is the same, but I’m not certain. Either way, it is possible to keep in smaller terraria (under 2′) with some pruning every few months. New stalks will form from the base, 2-4″ from the main plant, to form a nicely formed specimen.

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